Sunday, December 09, 2007

anniversaries

Today is the 8th anniversary of my mother's death; it might just as well have happened last year, or last week. You just don't get "over" losing a parent.

It was fitting that last night, my sister and I had "breakfast" for supper. Not only was that one of my mother's favorite things to do late at night, my sister and I had several late night breakfasts together during those last few days of Mom's life.

I am swamped with end-of-semester course work, and did not go to the cemetery today, though I did stop for a few moments on my way home last night. My sister set out new flowers today also.

I might as well head to bed soon... my eyes are totally shot from being on the computer all day reading and writing. I can't work much more on one project until I hear from the professor anyway. And my hands hurt too much to knit. I will be better after Wednesday when all my school stuff it due, done and then only six more working days until Christmas break.

(it's also the 4th anniversary of this blog)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

flower fun

I am a
Canna

What Flower
Are You?


"You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

. . . latter part is not particularly accurate, imo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

childhood memories

If I hadn't been of the type all my life, I would certainly attribute some of my recent sentimentality to aging.

I do cataloging work at a university library, so one wouldn't expect that I handle children's books. However, we have a nationally renown collection, The de Grummond Collection. For several weeks I have been working with a list of donated books, determining whether we already have these items in the collection and if so, how many copies, etc. It is, like most cataloging, a bit like solving puzzles. Every time that I get to put "copy 1" in the list, I get a little thrill. Then there are the moments when I stumble across titles that (or authors who) are near and dear to my heart and my memories!

This morning it is Frances Boyd Calhoun's Miss Minerva and William Green Hill. If the copy I'm checking on the list today is a first edition, it will be a "copy 1" for the collection! We have 7 other editions currently in the collection. I'm curious to check the family copy for publication date.

I may have first read this book one summer while visiting my grandparents, but I am not sure. I know that the copy we have was always considered my sister's book. (Lo, and behold! When I went to get a link for you about the book, I discovered it is available in PDF from Google Books -- and also from many other locations. That's the cover on our copy, too!)

Sigh. But I suppose it is very politically incorrect to have fond memories of such a book . . . speaking of books, my list of reading over there on the right is woefully out of date.

Friday, November 09, 2007

morning break tidbits

* I'm glad I never uploaded the NaBlPoMo graphic, as I was out of town the first four days of November! I'd like to try the NaNoWriMo one of these years, though for short stories, not a novel. Two blogger "friends" have taken up the challenge (both for at least the second time, I believe . . . Rachel, and Karin.

* Today is 3rd Annual D-blog day. Although my D-blog technically is over at TuDiabetes (you have scroll down to see the blog as there is no direct link to it), I mention it here cause over there they all know about it! LOL!


* November is National Diabetes Awareness month -- aimed not only at those who are walking around undiagnosed, but as an attempt to inform and dispell the mis-information generally believed about this chronic disease.


November 14th, in fact, has been designated World Diabetes Day, too. Take time to be informed about this great threat to our health.

* There was something else . . . gone now.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

snuggling

I finished one half the entrelac scarf, except for the pointed end. I send a request for help to Purl's Yarn Emporium last night. Hope to hear from someone there soon. So, I secured the live stitches and the remaining thread on that ball, then began with the second ball on the second half.
However, I haven't made much progress tonight (I have just now finised the ribbing and am ready to begin the entrelac), due to this:

Now that's he's changed positions, perhaps I can get back to it . . . or I could work on papers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

$120 later...

that's how much the tests cost me today at the university clinic. At my doctor's office they would have cost me n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

I am only taking partial responsibility for this fiasco, though.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

un*believeable

What do you do when you adore your physician, but despise his office personnel and the way it is run??

--warning: long whiny post ahead--

I have been trying to see my doc for about two weeks. I'm not crazy about taking time off from work (it has to be personal leave, not sick, and I just don't have enough right now for all my needs, so I've been putting off many appointments/tests). Last week I tried to get an appointment. The NP I have been seeing is no longer there, Dr.R was only going to be in half-a-day on Friday, and they weren't taking appointments until that morning.

ok... he/they changed the way they do appointments a couple years ago. they *will* make you appointments a couple days ahead, but not several weeks ahead, and even then, there are only a few. the rest are made the day of or the day before... this is REALLY difficult on people, like me, who not only have to be at work before his office opens, but live a half-hour and work an hour away from the office...

So, yesterday, I decide I would try to get an appointment this week. While talking with his nurse (I was SO happy she answered the call; she I also adore), we decided I should get the tests done first. My plan was to leave work at 3:30, fly down to the office and get the lab work done, i.e, have the blood drawn. There is really NO point to seeing him until the results are back anyway. On the way, however, #1Son's car breaks down on me. Fortunately, it is right south of the exit where we live, and I have plenty of time. Or so I thought. And so there would have been IF i hadn't told him the wrong exit (there are two, one at the north end of town, one at the south).

About 20 minutes *after* the sheriff's deputy stopped to see if everything was all right, #1Son arrived and jumped the car. It was 5:45 and I was still a half-hour from the office, so home we went.

Now, today, I felt really awkward going to my supervisor asking to leave early again for the same reason... but, today, we arrive in plenty of time. Except... they closed the lab at 4:30 because they are administering flu shots.

Let us all groan together

THEN the little witch at the reception window starts giving me grief: do I have orders, yadayadayada. I walk back over to #1Son, talking, and trying to figure out what to do... the only choice I can think of beside returning AGAIN tomorrow afternoon (which I really can't do anyway) is to get the test done at the university clinic. So, I walk back to the counter, waiting behind the man now at the window. Said witch *interrupts* what she and the other staffer are saying to this man to tell ME "Mam'm, there is no one here to ..." I said, "I just want to ask you a question. I'm waiting for my turn." Holy crap... I could not believe how rude she was! In a couple of moments, she opens the window on the other end of the area, complete with pained, and offended facial contortions.

What I needed to know was, if I had the tests done at the clinic on campus could they send the report? (She thought probably so.) Would they require me to have an order from my doctor? (She didn't know.). . . . you know what, I'm tired of telling it, and I know you are tired of reading it.

I finally got an order, but he/they didn't include the cholesterol test I wanted.

They gave me all kinds of hassel: why *I* didn't have the order. One even insisted that the doctor "always" gives me an order at the previous visit for what I would need next. (NEVER has he done this in the year and a half he's been treating me for DM!) None of them would listen long enough to comprehend that I had called, HIS NURSE had told me to come, knew what tests I needed and why. These goofballs have NO idea what I need, nor any inclination to go out of their way.

Damn. I don't want to change doctors, but I am SO tired of dealing with his staff. (I recongnized ONE woman in the front office.) This kind of thing happens over and over down there. So, now two trips down there, an hour of leave, and I still don't have the tests done. And I do not know when I will have time tomorrow to even get to the clinic...

I probably should have posted this over on my tudiabetes blog and not bothered y'all with it. My stomach was full of whatever it is that gets dumped in there when you get stressed; adrenaline?? I don't know but I was naseuous as could be by the time we left and starving (hadn't eaten since noon because I wasn't even sure if I should have been fasting for the cholesterol) -- all these things are SO SO good for someone with diabetes, donchaknow?

Time for class, chicos. Hasta.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

healthy attitudes?

This is a(nother long) diabetes-related rant post. No knitting or stitching or any kind of fun stuff. So, feel free to "mark as read" now... but the information may actually say as much about us all as people (or some of "us") in general in modern society than about those with diabetes in particular.

First, it's amazing how following the "doctor's orders" can make a difference in BSG readings. After only a few days of getting back to taking my meds as prescribed and cutting back my carbs (again), my numbers are back down and I am feeling better. I guess I was walking around in a "carb fog" and didn't realize it. The scale even went down a pound for a couple days -- I bounce 3 to 5 pounds some days, but I try to only weigh myself in the morning and no more than each morning. The greatest difficulty now (beside eating well) is remembering to take the metformin earlier in the evening so I don't wake up in the middle of the night with stomach pains. I thought it was the Vytorin and stopped taking it, but now I am beginning to believe it is the metformin.

Now to my real point: when my doctor first put the fear of god into me about how high my BSG had gotten, I was really scared. This was my third go-around with high BSG (gestational diabetes, and and then again in 1999 -- lost 20 pounds and everything went back to normal, hah hah). I took him and his instructions seriously and when I went back 2 weeks later, he looked at my numbers and started laughing. He asked me, "What did you do?" "I did what you told me to do."

If only everyone would, he said...

It's not easy to stay on track. And the U. of Chicago study mentioned the other day on Bernard Farrell's blog and on Daily Diabetic is scary -- there is a better article about the study at the University of Chicago Medical Center site.

The study is distressing because it speaks to our obsession with having a perfect life. Almost 20% of the participants would trade 8 to 10 years of life not to have to have to treat their diabetes:
"many patients found both complications and treatment onerous. Between 12 and 50 percent were willing to give up 8 of 10 years of life in perfect health to avoid life with complications. More surprising, between 10 and 18 percent of patients were willing to give up 8 of 10 years of healthy life to avoid life with treatments."
"Some patients, if you judge by their behavior, would rather be well on the road to future blindness, kidney failure or amputations then work hard now at their diabetes" (diabetes specialist Louis Philipson, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, who was not part of the research team).
I've not walked in a Type 1's shoes. I've been lucky so far to be able to control with only one med, diet and exercise. So, I certainly will not judge the participants. I can only hope that I never feel that hopeless.

An encouraging point in the report is that "Those who had experience with a specific medication or complication saw them as having less of an impact on quality of life than those without such direct experience." We always fear the unknown, and often unduly.

I would really like to read the full study article. If you happen to have access to Diabetes Care you can, too (that link will let anyone read the abstract, if you are interested). They have a three-month embargo, so I won't have access to it online for three months; campus library doesn't subscribe to the print version.

Monday, October 15, 2007

things i do for friends!

So... Rissa wants to buy something, and she needs some (more) enablement. BUT, she does so under the guise of "talk me out of it."

Now, you must remember that although I love having lots and lots of purses and bags and totes, I do not love to pay a lot for them, nor am I a name-brand person. I'd rather have ten purses for which I paid $10 each, than one for which I paid $100... because I like to c-h-a-n-g-e purses often!
[insert disappointing memories from childhood of not being able to afford John Tremain purses -- of which I can find nothing on the internet -- or Go-Go boots]
Just before we walk into Belks, she says, "If it's not still on 40% off, I'm not going to get it anyway." And, of course, it wasn't. So, we just turned around and left, right?

Of course, not! We wander around looking at all the purses (for me, it was curiosity about what I must be missing). Long story shortened: I left with this:


an "Authentic" Fossil Kendall Tote in Multi Print.
16" x 8.5" x 6" w/ 8.5" handle drop
cotton/canvas fabric w/ top-stitched embroidered accents
leather handles, bottom, and trim
two large interor compartments w/ center zip section; magnetic top closure
(for me, more of an overnight bag or tote; not a purse/handbag!)

Now, just who is enabling whom?


Thursday, October 11, 2007

diamond


Today is my parent's 60th wedding anniversary.
(Diamond is the traditional gift.)
Their wedding took place in my mother's parent's living room. My mother wore a light blue suit.* I have at least one imprinted napkin, and I think a favor from the event... seems like there is another momento, too, but right now I can't recall.

They honeymooned at the Fountainbleu hotel in Biloxi. It has been gone since long before Katrina, but it sat near where the bypass to I-10 comes (came? is it still there?) down to the Coast and swings out over the water. (Can you tell I don't know my geography down there very well?)

Mom's been gone almost eight years, but I wanted to acknowledge the day.

*interesting to me because I wore a light blue suit (which my mother made for me) to 'get away' from my first wedding...no, not like THAT... I 'got away' from the marriage about three years later. also wore it on my one-year anniversary. See?


ohmygosh! look at the pointy collar and lapel! and you know what's really weird? that necklace was a gift from the man I almost married, not the one I did!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

¿tu diabetes?

SugarStats led me to another diabetes site, a social network, in fact. There's a new link to it and to SugarStats in the sidebar (Tu Diabetes is the trio or hands -- with pricked fingers.) It's a little unwieldy to get around, and it's quite slow moving from one page to another (maybe it's just my computer), but I hope to benefit by being there.

hay una versión española también: EsTuDiabetes.com

ETA: My problems with TuDiabetes seem to have been related to something particular to Tuesday night -- last night things worked fine... by "unwieldy" I meant that the forums format was different than I expected. It is more like an aggregate reader...which is not bad, just different! :D I've added the forum RSS feeds to my Google Reader; I might like that better.

Monday, October 08, 2007

sugarstats

This morning my sugar was high. I always do badly on Sunday. Forgetting to take my medicine doesn't help matters. So, I ate a high-protein, no carb breakfast, and two hours later, it was still the same. Can you say "frustrated"??

I decided I should make a note somewhere about the circumstances of the high level, and opened the Journal feature of Outlook... except, I'm not always AT work when I take my sugar. I thought about my PDA... I even think I have loaded a program onto it for tracking BSG. But then I wondered if there was a place online (like the walking tracker) for tracking BSG. It would always be available, whether I was at home on my computer, or at work, or sitting at a hotspot.

"Google is your friend."

Sure enough, I found


SugarStats has both a free and a premium membership. I just signed up for the free; I haven't looked at the benefits of the premium yet. Just wanted to get some entries uploaded from my meter. Though I think being able to have the doctor download the information is one of the features of the premium membership. I also noticed that you can use Twitter to send an entry to SugarStats, so that takes care of the times when I don't have internet access.

I hope that having a place to keep notes of the situations when I take my BSG, and it's a little high (or low), will help me to see where I am having problems... ok, I *know* what the basic problem is: too many carbs, not enough proper eating, and too little exercise -- the same things that got me here in the first place, right? Well, I'm still happy to have an accountability place that is more convenient than a little notebook or my memory. SparkPeople just wasn't working for me.

Maybe this information will be helpful to others, too.

ETA (2:47PM): I even managed to figure out how to add an entry via Twitter!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

as promised


A few more photos!


I took photos of my progress on the twin leaf scarf before I ripped it. I like the pattern just fine (though I think I made a mistake about one repeat in), but I want a few more beads, and in different places. Because I'm using a smaller bead, they really do disappear. I am going to play with placing them along where the decreases are made, and I really think they would look better worked into the stitch rather than just pushed up along the working thread. We'll see if that looks better. I'd like to find a way to use the remaining red yarn, too, but I can't figure out how. Also, I may toy with the double decreases; I'm not sure I like the way they look.

Now, on to the green top... the last time I mentioned (and likely the last time I worked on this project) it, was February 13, 2006! I have only worked about two more pattern repeats since I picked it up last week, so it basically looks the same as when I stopped.


I know this pattern -- which is another leaf/fern one -- is from a knitting magazine. I'll have to find it though; I can't remember which one and a quick look at the Interweave Knits website didn't find it. I'm really about to the point where I am going to start the sleeves and yoke. For that, I am going to use the same shaping as the pattern I used for my hemp yarn sweater.

Friday, October 05, 2007

swallowtail photos

Both my Swallowtail shawls are finished, but unblocked. Because I had so much yarn leftover from the first one, I wanted to make the second one larger. I didn't want to have to fiddle with the math (unless absolutely necessitated by running out of yarn!), so I just switched to larger needles. The grey was knit using size 4US, the red with size 6US.

You can see the difference the needlesize made in the photo above (the grey shawl is on top of the red shawl), and the amount of yarn remaining from each ball of MistiAlpaca in the one below.


I found a sweet, narrow, lace scarf pattern at Jimmys Wool, and last night began it in the grey. I had a mixed bag of (mostly size 10, I think) white, pearl, and silver-lined beads which I strung with a mid-eye, two-pointed beading needle. The pattern calls for Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk, which is what I am using on my green top, so we'll have to see how it works out in the MistiAlpaca lace weight. I'm using the same size needle which is called for in the pattern. I would say for the Alpaca & Silk, though, that you would want at least size 8 beads. If I make enough progress on it today, I will post a photo tonight.

I also have photos of the green top to post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

backin' up

It happens now and then... I get blue about having diabetes (or, if you prefer, "being diabetic" -- some people get weird about both descriptions). I've been over-indulging in carbs lately. Mostly in the evenings, snacking on things I shouldn't. I am VERY tired of eating peanuts and peanut butter and cheese... and, to be honest, I get tired of eating meat. With the salad scares lately, it's getting hard to find a decent salad out. Gods, how I hate iceberg lettuce! And I'm falling back into the habit of not eating regularly. So, my sugar is running a little high. And, so, of course, that is distressing. It's a frustrating cycle. I also know that my stress level affects my blood sugar, and there are a number of things keeping that elevated as well. As I've heard it said, "They call it 'comfort food' for a reason!"

I guess I just got lazy because I've had it under such good control for over a year. Then, a little here a little there, and soon I'm (halfway) back (with the MAJOR exception of sugared sodas and potatoes!!) to the carb-snacking I used to do. I was going to go the doctor tomorrow (campus is closing for the football game that's being broadcast by ESPN), but I'm afraid my AC1 would be high.

I'm not really whining. I thought if I put it out there, be honest and accept responsibility for the situation that perhaps I would be more motivated to get back on track. No one with diabetes wants their family and friends to act like "Diabetes Police" -- just understanding and support. In the end, I have to do it for me.

Did I mention I finished the red Swallowtail? Hmm.. yes, I did. I want to get back to another project (think I mentioned that as well), but it will take time to figure out where I was when I stopped. I believe I was going to use one more skein on the body (I'm working in the round, bottom-up) before I begin the little sleeves and yoke. I have class tonight, so will not likely be able to concentrate on knitting.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

sunday pm!

Wow! It's 4:30pm on Sunday afternoon and ALL of my classwork which is due by midnight tonight is completed and submitted!
I can actually enjoy a quiet Sunday evening... go to supper, knit, and watch some television we recorded during the week -- or some of the Law & Order: Criminal Intent 6th season marathon on USA.
Speaking of knitting, I have one knit row and the bind-off row yet to do to finish the red Swallowtail! More reason for a happy dance! I may pull out a WIP I was reminded of when IM'ing with my sister last night. Pictures will follow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

morning murphies

The day began well enough. I was over my stomache problem which had sent me home from work at noon yesterday. Son#1 was up and coming to class, though still ill. We took his car so DH could have the truck. We had just gotten on the interstate when we hear a loud flapping noise: the tread on the left front tire was shredding. Son#1 got out the doughnut/spare and I called home to get someone to bring us the truck. (Son#1 didn't want to drive on it until he was ready to go get tires, which, btw, he'd just gone to have done on Monday but the store didn't have the right ones for his Cougar.)

Son#2 had to wake up DH, because Son#2 could not bring us the truck because *he* can not drive a standard transmission. In the meantime, Son#1 realizes neither of the lug wrenches in his trunk actually FIT the lug nuts on the tire! DH is asked to bring tools...

Next, the doughnut/spare is flat. DH & I drive home to get the air tank. Back at the Cougar, tire is pumped up and then... it won't start. Battery is dead. Called Son#2 to bring battery cables. He finally arrives, Cougar is jump started and everyone is happily on their way... except for Son#2. DH asks that Son#2 follow him home just in case. Son#2 neglects to tell DH that he will be late for class, follows his dad home and then e-mails me so that.... nevermind... this saga is way overlong already!

The good thing, is that Son#1 went to the on-campus clinic (again) and this time a (different) doctor (did not say "Probably a virus) wrote him a script for antibiotics. One of those once-a-day for three days ones, so I hope he is better soon!

On the knitting front, I've only been able to knit at night since I've been driving to work. I was up to row 7, I think, on the edging last night when I found a mistake. So, I'm tinkering back to half-way across row 5 to fix it. Probably happened while I was watching a series premier! At least classwork is light this week, cause I am chomping at the bit to get this finished! Back to work, y'all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

d-feeting diabetes

 I've managed to lose the weight I picked up in Chicago -- this is a very good thing, though I do miss the Uno's pizza! -- but my sugar is still higher than I would like. Obviously, I'm not eating as well as I should. Nor am I getting enough daily exercise. Sedentary jobs are bad for that.

 In that vein, last night I registered online for the Walk for Diabetes being held here on September 30th. I found out from a co-worker that it is only three miles. I hope I receive more details soon. The logo is so cute (don't try to click-- link coding isn't there), and so is the slogan:


"Everyone's Walking to D-feet Diabetes"

 Even though I *only* have Type II, which is often (and, thankfully, the case for me) easily controlled with diet and exercise, I know that juvenile diabetes and Type I in adults is not so easily controlled, even with medicines and/or insulin... and the side-effect conditions are extremely serious to the point of being fatal. The statistics are alarming, not just the diagnosed cases, but especially the estimation that over 6 million people in the United States are walking around undiagnosed!
 So... forget the low-carb fad. There are much more serious reasons to watch your carbs! Know the symptoms and get your blood sugar checked regularly. The American Diabetes Association website, of course, has lots of information.

Monday, September 17, 2007

peacefulness

I want to share a Tibet photo with you. It is my current desktop background, and I enjoy it so much that I thought I would show it to you all. (I took one much like it, but this one is Andrea's.)


This is Namtso, a sacred lake north of Lhasa. The mountains are the Nyenchen Tanglha, which is also the name of the protector god of Lhasa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all of Tibet as well as the local region.

This is one of the most sacred spots in a land of sacredness. It is also very cold there! The altitude is over 15 thousand feet at the lake; the pass over which you must come to get to the lake is over 17 thousand feet, and Nyenchen Tanglha summit is over 23 thousand feet!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

chortling!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

    I found my missing (since July 29th) flash drive!

    It was caught between the console and the rail on which the passenger seat moves forward. That area of the truck has been full of "stuff" and this is the first opportunity I have had taken to search since we took all the "stuff" out before we drove to Jackson to catch the train to Chicago!

I
am
very
happy.

    See... I am easily pleased after all, eh??

8-P

Monday, September 10, 2007

home from Chicago-land

... back to Walmart-land.

    Perhaps I am a city-girl at heart. I think I could definitely like living in Chicago (except in the winter, of course).

    Perhaps, though, I have just never found the place where I am most content, because I often feel I could/would like to live/move to places I visit. Then, again, maybe that just shows I am extremely adaptable and easy to please. Nah. Not likely! LOL

    So, what did I love about Chicago? Most everything (especially since I also heard that all public smoking will soon be banned)... the food, the buildings, the "cosmopolitan" appearance of everyone and everything. I realize we were in a better part of town, that there are other spots which are nicer, and others which are not so nice. I loved not having to drive. And, the people, with rare exception, were quite congenial and helpful.

    Of course, I am not thrilled to have had to come back to work today! Vacations, especially ones where one gets to travel to a new place are such fun. Unfortunately, they don't last forever for but few of us. I am thrilled that, although I am behind on my reading, I only missed one assignment for my classes. Oh, how hard it is going to be to read instead of stitch this week! Seems like it is time for some serious time management.

    It is also time to get back to eating right. Yes, I gained a couple of pounds while I was gone, on top of the couple I had let creep up over the last couple months. I do not want to go back to the doctor weighing more than I did at my previous visit. Fortunately, I will be walking more on campus now that I go to class three days a week, and as the weather cools, I will take walking breaks (and lunches on non-class days). The trick for me is too eat properly at home for supper. And MORE stairs!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

you know it's going to be a hot day

when your air conditioner is running at 5:45 AM.

    Last night I finished the Swallowtail shawl. I'm quite proud to have a finished item! I am terrible about leaving things unfinished and running off to other projects. Of course, it still has to be blocked, but the smaller size of the Swallowtail is less intimidating than a full size shawl.

    Of course, what did I do as soon as I bound off the last stitches?? Casted-on for another one with the dark red MistiAlpaca I bought at the same time as the grey! I want to do this one on a little larger needles. Size 6 I think. I started it on size 7 by mistake though, and forgot to grab the 6s this morning to make the change.

    Classes begin today -- well, one of my classes -- and I am looking forward to getting back into an actual classroom! All my LIS classes so far have been online, but I'm taking a Tibetan Religions course this term that is face-to-face. Appropriately, I wore today my om-mani-padme-hum (in Tibetan script) T-shirt that I bought in Lhasa.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

birthday meme

    Well, hmmm. Seems like we did this for an assignment in one of my LIS classes . . . except we had to use "real" reference sources: "The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends." (I found the events rather uninteresting, so I only did two of them and did three birthdays.)

July 7th
Events:
    1456 - Joan of Arc acquitted of heresy (25 years after her death)
    2005 - London's transport system bombings
Births:-- all before me! LOL
    1907 - Robert Heinlein,Science fiction author
    1940 - Ringo Starr, musician
    1949 - Shelley Duvall, actress
Holiday:
    Very cool! The Japanese star festival, Tanabata! Go! Read. It is interesting, even though it is supposed to be seventh day of seventh lunamonth. "In the Edo period, girls wished for better sewing and craftsmanship." And they have seven kinds of decorations.

Tag, you're it (if you wanna play).

Friday, August 17, 2007

no more nubbs! more pix!

Well, one anyway.
 I took a break before starting the edging of the Swallowtail and made a photo to share.

 It isn't stretched too far; sorry (and click on the image to see the detail). Too lazy to dig out the pins, Lisa. Now I've fiddled around with something totally unrelated to knitting and am too sleepy to start the edging tonight. I'm glad it's the weekend... who knows how far I'll get on it by Sunday night. I'd really like to have it to wear at National Seminar.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

goodies

oops! forgot to share my goodies.
 Yesterday my sweet hubby picked up these (there are two in a package)

for me at . . . well, some where! This is the first item going in my bag for seminar.

Work tasks got better after lunch. The new books came in from the bindery and now I've got several hundred items to process. I love seeing the new books, and it's nice to have a break from the MARC code.

 We had a nice fish supper tonight, and visited with an adorable Cockapoo puppy (belonging to a lady for whom hubby does yardwork). There was a lovely sunset, and my headache is finally gone. Time to knit a bit.

tired eyes and fingers

 Whew. I just spent all morning scrolling through (to make it sound simpler than it was) over a thousand bib. records looking for a particular kind of editing error. It should have been only half that many, but about 400 into it, I discovered another type of mistake I needed to be sure was corrected. (To get way too specific, I had to check the 440 and 490 MARC tags.) I found three errors of the first type I was looking for, and about a dozen of the second. How distressing. Just when I think I am improving with all this pre-ACCR2 updating. Not so good for the fingers either.

 Remember this? Well, I found one 'catch' on my bank statement a couple days ago. The $27 magazine subscriptions carry a $10 "shipping charge" each. Cancelled all that this morning.

 Classes begin next Wednesday. I'm trying to add a second graduate class, but it is full at the moment. I don't know whether or not they will let me add it if someone drops out early. Waiting for a reply from my advisor.

 While I'm talking library stuff, I want to brag a little bit about our library staff. One of the librarians here has been chosen for the Newberry Award committee for 2009. That may seem odd: it's a children's book award, and we are a university library. However, we have one of the largest collections of children's books in the country (and hold a national children's book festival each year on campus). She's getting a little exasperated at all the local attention, so I won't link to photos or include her names. She is a dear lady, though, and mother to one of the students on our trip to Tibet this last May. I'm happy to know her, and pleased at the honor for her.

 On the knitting front, I've only got about 6 more rows on the second lily-of-the-valley pattern section on the Swallowtail shawl, then I can begin the last pattern section. I hope it is easy to remember... I'll be glad to be done with the nupps. (Except that when I'm done with this one, I think I will pick up the sample one I began in white wool before my MistiAlpaca arrived. I don't remember them being so fiddly with the larger yarn though.)

 Since I still haven't taken a photo of my shawl, I'll post another Tibet photo.


This is about the highest point I climbed at Drak Yerpa. Of course, there's no feeling of height from the photo. You'll have to click on it and get the big size if you want to find my face among the prayer flags.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

pizza: now & then

    Rissa did a blog thing. I followed suit. We both think the results are wacky.

    Since I can no longer eat pepperoni, I eat thin crust, ham & pineapple pizza:

What Your Pizza Reveals
Your appetite is pretty average. You don't go overboard - but you don't deprive yourself either. You are a very picky pizza eater. Not any pizza will do. You fit in best in the Northeast part of the US. You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods. You are dependable, loyal, and conservative with your choices. You are carefree and friendly. You should consider traveling to Hawaii. The stereotype that best fits you is stoner. You're a little wacky in the head, even if you don't touch drugs.

    Before the stomach troubles and diabetes I preferred hand-tossed crust, pepperoni and lots of cheese:

What Your Pizza Reveals
Your appetite is pretty average. You don't go overboard - but you don't deprive yourself either. You aren't particularly picky about pizza. It's so good... how could you be? You fit in best in the Western part of the US. You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods. You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices. You are definitely unique and artistically inclined. You should consider traveling to Prague. The stereotype that best fits you is geek. You're the type most likely to order pizza to avoid leaving your computer.

    Funny part is that last sentence fits Son#2 very well!

    I think rather than the combination of answers resulting in a profile, each particular answer has a result, so the profile is wonky. But amusing in a time-wasting sort of way . . . where is my knitting??

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

i·ro·ny

    when you realize the admonishments made to your children are advice you need to follow as well (i.e., they come 'round to bite you in the @ss):
"double-check your work"

just a little morning inspiration. now, anyone have something to help with concentration on minutiae?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

happy dance


 No, I haven't finished the shawl... summer term grades were released today. I made an A in my cataloguing class, and so kept my 4.0 GPA. Also made an A in the Tibet class, but that is "out of career" course work.

 A cheery spot in this very hot Tuesday. Time for lunch, or a nap, whichever happens first when I get to the car!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

needling

Woo-hoo!

I'm actually knitting again.

Seeing the pictures of Lisa's mystery shawl enticed me to get out my Swallowtail (of which I thought I had posted a photo but apparently did not). I carried it in my tote to work several days this week, but it was not a good week (massive understatement, but no need to go through all the gory details). Friday evening I discovered my copy of the pattern was not in the bag with the project, so I wouldn't have been able to knit it anyway. I didn't feel like searching for it until Saturday afternoon. When I couldn't find it, I just grabbed the Fall 2006 issue of IW Knits and began trying to find my place in the pattern.

After a false start and some tinking, I took a good look at what was already knitted, and saw big mistakes about two repeats back. I also realized that on the last pattern repeat I had been forgetting to knit the purl rows! It was 9PM before I had it tinked and reknit to where I'd been when I started (at least by row count and used yarn). About three times during the reknitting process I found places where I had made a mistake a row or more back. I'm rather pleased that instead of having to rip whole rows back, I was able to "read" the knitting and just rip the portion concerned and fix the problem!

This morning, I decided I was tired of dealing with the joint on my bamboo circulars, and went in search of long single points. Unfortunately, I'm less happy with them. The metal needles are just too slippery, and I seem to have a nervous shake (hopefully just a low BSF thang) this morning, so that's not helping. I'm going back to the bamboo circulars for now, and may decide to shop for some wooden single points.

Time for a shower and Sunday dinner in Bogalusa. I'll try to find or take a photo this afternoon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

bee-dazzling!

Here are two photos of my star-gazer lilies.

07/12/2007

07/12/2007

flight(?) of the bumbley-bee

    I knew when my eyes fell upon my digital camera this morning that there was some reason why I should bring it with me to work. But, of course, I couldn't think of it at the time, and as my bag was already bulging, I left it behind.

    The reason was because there were photographs of my Star-gazer lilies in the camera which I wanted to post here. I remembered this when I backed out from under the carport and saw them in the flower bed. I also remembered that I wanted to take some blooms to work, so I broke off two stalks. All the buds on each had already come into bloom, so that meant several were old; the petals on these older blooms were already falling away as I walked back to the car. Thinking one of the dew-covered petals was on my hand, I looked down to shake it off only to discover it was a bumblebee!

    Startled, I screamed, of course. Waking up Son#1 who was asleep in the back seat -- at least he'll make it to class today! -- and, of course, who knew where the bee went then. I got out of the truck, looked all around my seat and couldn't see it anywhere.

    I calmly told myself that it would not sting me. It was only a bumblebee and that if I saw it or felt it on me while I was driving there was no need to panic. Just pull over and let it out of the truck. I didn't put on my sunglasses so that I could see better inside the truck, but all the way to work I never saw or felt it. I thus decided that it must have been dead and just got on my hand while I was handling the flowers.

    All is well. I stop for coffee and biscotti. Head back to the truck, and just as I get outside the shop, I feel something on my arm. Darn if it isn't that bee! I yelped again, scaring the elderly woman who had left the shop ahead of me, and shook my arm. The bee landed on the ground.

    No, I did not step on him... and I hope he crawled off so no one else did. What an interesting beginning to my Monday!

p.s. The lilies smell wonderful and look so nice on the shelf above my desk, it was worth all the eventfulness to have them! LOL

Sunday, July 15, 2007

grrrr: cellphone companies!

 I have been a Sprint customer for quite a few years. Not always by choice, but by financial necessity, i.e., it would cost me so much more to change that I remained. Finally, I am nearing a point where all contracts are complete and I can make a change. Or so I thought...

 I have three lines on my account: one for me, and one each for my sons. Their contracts are fulfilled; mine will be on the first of March 2008. Son#1 had picked up a TracPhone while he was living out of state earlier in the year, and we now we are thinking that for the two of them, TracPhones would be better. Son#2, especially, does not use his phone enough to warrant the $20/month line charge (plus taxes and fees ad nauseum) with Sprint.

 So, this morning, I called to cancel their lines. Through three representatives and a total of about 30 minutes on hold, it turns out that when I drop their phones, I no longer can keep my "Family Plan" and the fall-out is that I would have to re-commit to two years because of the plan change!

 I. am. R E A L L Y upset. with. Sprint. again.

 So, I will either 1) have Son#1 go to the Sprint store and cancel his phone on Monday morning, or 2) after I calm down, call Sprint and do it myself, thus leaving Son#2 and I on the "Family Plan" until my contract expires in March.

 I am definitely becoming of the mind that these no-contract phones are the way to go. I think I'm leaning toward Virgin -- they use the Sprint network, on which, I do have to say, I get good service. I just hate the way they treat long-time customers and feel like they hold on to you by the "short-hairs."

 Darn it. All I really want is a QWERTY keyboard phone through Sprint (without having to take a data plan)! LOL! I like this Nokia 9300 from AT&T:

but there only seem to be refurbished ones available. (I plan to change to Bellsouth/AT&T/Cingular when my contract is with Sprint is over; I can "bundle" all my services together and save a little bit by doing so.) The Kyocera Strobe like Rissa has is okay too, but the Nokia is less clunky-looking. There are some others that look okay, too: LG VX9900 enV, AT&T 8125, AT&T 8525, UTStarcom PPC-6700, UTStarcom PPC-6800 but I really don't want the PDA style.

 On a more pleasant note, I spent a good amount of time yesterday afternoon and evening cataloging my mother's paperback novels into my Book Collector software.



I am doing this in order to sell them. I just have to get rid of all these books. There are hundreds, if not over a thousand of them! Most have never even been read and are only showing a little edge/shelf wear and yellowing pages. Before I resort to Half.com, I hope to try to sell them myself through word-of-mouth/internet. Years ago, actually, I began this project, but did not ever really get it going. Now, I think I have a way to upload the list as an html file from the program. But it will take a while to finish cataloging the books... which, after I do my homework for this week, I plan to get right back to doing.

 Hope everyone has a lovely Sunday.

Friday, July 13, 2007

free nano?? hmm.

 I have done, probably, something stupid. I want to buy an iPod Nano, the red one. It only comes in the 8Gb (i.e., $249) model. I don't really want to spend that much money on something with which to listen to music. True, it will also hold data, but, still, it's a lot of money. So, last night while googling for other places to buy it than the Apple online store, hoping to find someone with at least some kind of promotion, maybe a small discount or some free iTunes downloads, one of those free-with-completion-of-offers things popped up.

 Yes. I succumbed. What the heck. I do know people (okay, one person) who got their iPod this way). So, I signed up for Netflix, GoodCook Book club (one Rachel Ray, one Giada De Laurenitis, Fix-it-Forget-it for stepdaughter, forget the fourth one), and 5 magazines for $27.00 (Diabetic Cooking for me, Firey Foods & BBQ for Rodger, Golf Illustrated for Brent, can't recall the other two). Netflix will cost me $10 for a month--and I'll cancel it perhaps at the end of the trial anyway; the book club will be probably about $40. So, including the additional bookclub purchase requirement, that's about $80 max -- the cost of an iPod Shuffle -- and I'll at least have books, mags, and a couple movies to watch. We'll see if the Nano part every materializes, hmm?

 Here's a random -- no, it's not really random, I picked it out especially for today -- photo from Tibet for you to enjoy this morning:


psssst... did you know it is Friday, the 13th?

 Enjoy, everyone! It's probably too early yet, but I'm heading to check on Miss Woolly Knits.

(Edited to add: No! It wasn't too early, and she posted a link to a nice Nora Jones tune/video, which reminded me of a song of which I have become really fond: KT Tunstall's Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

scattergories 4

    I'm a little behind on getting this one done.


Good name for a new rock band: Crow Shade
Something you’d see out a car window: cosmos
Ten-letter word: compassion
Something scary: care less - ness
Super-hero or super-villain name: Cinnamon Girl
Two ingredients that should NEVER be in the same recipe together: chocolate and . . . hm . . . uh . . .
Something you’d find in a purse or wallet: checkbook
Reason to break up with a lover: cruelty
Something that irritates you: CNN
Reason to celebrate: completion

Monday, July 09, 2007

somethings just haunt you


 Like the tearful voice of a little boy who'd been cruelly taunted by his schoolmates: "I can't even wear what I want!"

 Any time in my own mind my thoughts go along similar lines (i.e., I can't even [fill-in-the-blank]), the image of my son and the sound of his pitiful voice, comes back to haunt me, along with the heartache a mother has for those things which she is powerless to remedy.

 I won't share the details. That would be embarassing to him, perhaps. But I will say that he overcame. He continued to wear the type of clothes he liked (though not that particular color combination -- no! that's wrong... he DID continue to wear it!), and once in senior high, where peer-pressure is so great, he REALLY wore what he wanted: camo pants and t-shirts. every. day. I even had one teacher/administrator contact me about it. I basically told them to jump in a lake: his clothes were clean every day and that was more than you could say about a lot of the kids. To say nothing of the saggy pants and exposed undergarments!


Now, tell me... could anything BE sweeter??

 Good. Now I am out of my blue-funk about that sad little boy, whose situation was breaking his mother's heart (cause it was also bound up in my decision to stop homeschooling and put them in government schools) -- and likely, because I had been RIGHT there. I can still remember -- what? 47 years later?? -- from KINDERGARTEN, for chris'sake! -- an insult from a classmate about my plastic raincoat, which I thought was just delightful with it's matching umbrella!

 What brought on the torment? Well, I have always done things just a wee bit differently than other people. In this particular case, one of the tasks in my job I do in a different order/manner than I was shown. I get the work done the same, and *I* think that I make fewer errors. But I am always afraid that my supervisor will aske me how I am doing this certain thing and that she will tell me that is why I make mistakes and that I should go back to doing it the way I was shown. However, the way I was shown, I believe, requires more repetitive motion with the mouse and keyboard to cut and paste.... nevermind the details. You get the point, and know I have hand pain to deal with every day, all day. Heaven only knows why this morning it was worrying me! It's not like I can't quit if things ever get too weird here. I like the money, and I like taking classes, but I don't *have* to work, thank all the gods and goddesses!

 Thanks for letting me share, blogreaders.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

early birthday later

written at about 5 AM:

    In typical Rita-fashion (my mother), I'm up in the middle of the night -- with a stomach ache from eating foods I know will make me ill -- scribbling away on another idea. Staying in bed (A) won't help my digestion system, or (B) settle my mind, so I might as well be up getting my thoughts on paper. They don't vanish into thin air, into my dreams, or into regrets over their loss if I can manage to write them out -- they only hang around to taunt me as unfinished, or worse, never acted upon.

    It is my 52nd birthday and it is July 7th, 2007: 07-07-07. The media has been reporting that wedding bookings are the highest for this date all across the country. Others predict disasters and terrorist strikes: 7 bombs in 7 cities (in 7 countries, would be appropo). I just wated to do something to make it meaningful to me, but the whole world is "horning in" on my special day! And, of course, I have to remember my birthday twin, KiwiEllen, on the BeadArt Forum.

    So, first I thought I would get a tatoo. But, hubby really doesn't like the idea (which is why -- and I think the only reason why -- Son#1 hasn't gotten one, or more). I'm also a big wimp; low threshold for pain that gets even lower as I age. Then, where to place it? I want to be able to see it! And of course, what to get . . . something small, but meaningful . . . not too obvious in meaning, but not too obscure or outlandish either.

    Nah, I'll just settle for a third ear piercing in my left ear. "Left is right, and right is wrong," a friend advised. Heaven knows I haven't kept up with those kind of trends. I am so clueless.

    I was going to take off early from work yesterday to get the piercing done, but I need to save my leave hours. It may have to wait until next week. I told Rodger last night to go ahead and mow for one of his customers today, and I don't want to drive all the way to H'burg just to do it ... especially since my stomach is upset. There is probably no place closer to get it done.

I think I am finally getting sleepy again -- side effect of the Nulev, too. I've been up an hour and a half, and awake over two.

written at about 3:30 PM

    Well, it has been pouring rain most of the late morning and through the afternoon. Hubby got home from mowing (unfinished) about the time I got up at noon. He had cut me Stargazer Lilies and Gladiolas and put them in a vase on the counter with a sweet note this morning. He is such a treasure.

    I've worked on a project for cataloging class, talked with my dad and my sister, checked email and gotten nice birthday wishes from friends far and near. Sons want to go with us to supper, so that means picking somewhere they will eat well, i.e., Ryan's. Lots of choices for all the various appetites in this small family; I can avoid fatty foods and get fairly good salad, lean meat and non-carb veggies. So, I'm off to shower then prod everyone else to do same.

    (Turns out there is a place not too far to get pierced, but I doubt I will stop to have it done with the whole family in tow.)

Friday, June 29, 2007

MLK and G'Kar are not alone

    I have a dream, too. And the first hurdle along the track is cleared.

(Don't you hate mixed metaphors?)

    I have 27 more hours of classwork to do for my masters, plus my master's project hours. For from 2 to 4 of those hours, I can do a practicum of from 100 to 200 hours. In order to do this while working full-time, day-time job, I will have to take leave from work. So, rather and x-number of hours per week, I thought that perhaps I could take a three-week vacation to go and do the practicum some where really special.

    My first thought was to try to arrange something in coordintation with USM's British Studies Program (in London during the summer term), or back to Universidad de las Americas in Pueblo, Mexico (where I was last summer for Spanish classes) -- these are still on the list. Then inspiration struck: perhaps there is a university with a Tibetan Studies program and/or special collections or digitization programs within their library system where I could go for the practicum.

      While I was googling for the latter, I found a link to the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, which just happens to be located in Dharamsala, India -- location of the Tibetan government-in-exile... and thus was born the dream.

    I read and read and read... everything I could find about LTWA. Turns out there are places to stay, and beginning Tibetan language classes in the mornings, and provisions for going to do research -- my tenative master's project topic is the library's role in cultural preservation -- and many English-speaking Tibetans, and many English volumes. (I tried to convert the Rbs. pricing to U.S. dollars, but I can't be doing it right; it is just too inexpensive for the classes and accommodations as I am doing it.) Excitedly, I drafted an e-mail to the director of LTWA.

There was a fly in the ointment, however.

    According to the practicum guidelines, one can only accumulate 20 hours of practicum work per week! No way could I take 5 weeks of vacation from my job! So, I wrote my advisor to ask if it would be possible to get a waiver of that limitation given my full-time job and desire to find a specialized library or do something internationally.

    Everyone was leaving for ALA convention in Washington, D.C., that day, and so, I knew I would be waiting at least a week, but my expecation was inflexibility that I have encountered previously with the SLIS. In the meantime, I wrote the professor who took us to Tibet for suggestions of universities here in the U.S. with Tibetan Studies programs.

    Yesterday, I finally received the anxiously awaited email from my advisor:

 

The director gave her permission for me to purse a condensed practicum!

 

    I am shocked, but thrilled. With butterflies in my stomach, I reviewed, revised and sent off the email to LTWA. Now I wait again, with my course work for the next two semesters dedicated to the two prerequisite courses for practicum (Library Management and Information Libraries and Society).

    Perhaps the best part is that last night when I told Rodger the news (he'd seemed a bit uninterested or perhaps just doubtful when I told him of my plan earlier in the week), he indicated he wanted to go, too! My little country boy has certainly turned into a world traveler! Guess I'll be saving money and leave once I get home from Chicago and the EGA national seminar!

    And I am even more anxious to see/talk to Lisa (a young woman on our Tibet trip who stayed to spend the summer traveling through India) when she returns.

 

Monday, June 25, 2007

too easy to skew

You Are: 0% Dog, 100% Cat
You are are almost exactly like a cat. You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way. And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

via Rissa. Now, if I answer a bit more honestly:

You Are: 60% Dog, 40% Cat
You are a nice blend of cat and dog. You're playful but not too needy. And you're friendly but careful. And while you have your moody moments, you're too happy to stay upset for long.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

scattergories 3

Third time's a charm:

A type of tree or shrub: Chinaberry
Something an astronaut would study: constellations
Eight-letter word: contempt
A sports team (any sport): Cubs
A character in movie or play: Coco
A nickname (or endearment) for someone you like: cutiepie
Something that could get you arrested: conterfeiting
Something you’d take to a picnic: chicken
A reason someone might get an award, medal, or trophy: Confirmation
Something that makes you smile: cats

Thursday, June 21, 2007

scattergories 2

Round 2:

A Country: Cambodia
A Song Title: Cocaine
An Artist (painter, photographer, etc): Cézanne
A Reason to stay home from Work or School: catastrophe
Something you’d see at a Zoo: camel
A Snack: caramel corn
A Character in a Book: Charlotte['s Web]
Something Icky: cootie
A Six-letter Word: church
Something Breakable: chandelier
Non-Alcoholic Drink: Coca-cola
Something you Whisper: christ!

scattergories 1

Playing meme catchup: Scattergories

Instructions: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following…They MUST be real places, names, things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.
Your Name: Cyn
Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Chicago
4 letter word: cent
Vehicle: Cougar
TV Show: Cops
City: Cincinnati
Boy Name: Charles
Girl Name: Crystal
Alcoholic drink: Cognac
Occupation: Chemist
Flower: Carnation
Something you wear: Camisole
Celebrity: Charo
Something found in a kitchen: Coffee
Cartoon Character: Casper
Something You Shout: Crap!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

body image

 is a funny thing.

 Rissa wrote several times during the past year or so (e.g., this) about body image, and the whole thing hit me hard this week when I saw the photographs of me from our trip to Tibet.

 I have lost 30 pounds since last Spring. But, as evidenced by the photos, I still have quite a tummy on me. My face is still puffy (and red and, well, not pocked exactly, but not smooth), and my eybrows are all but gone.

Prayer wheels at entrance to Drepung Gompa

 For comparison, here's a shot taken a year ago in Mexico:

Atop the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, Mexico

 I had already lost between 12 and 18 pounds before I went to Mexico; maybe a little more. I can't remember exactly.

 Now look at this shot from two years ago, taken in Jamaica:

Sunday Morning outside Catholic Church after Mass

 Holy sh*t! I had no idea I was so fat! I actually thought that dress looked really good on me.

 And the worst part is, that in lots of ways I don't feel any thinner than I did two years ago -- except when I go buy clothes. Until I look at photos, or in the mirror, it just feels like the same ol' unattractive fat body -- which is really horrible to say/think/feel after losing that much weight!

 Weird, huh? And "funny" -- see me laughing?

 Of course, I do feel better physically because of the weight loss, and about eating better. It just shocked me; first, to see the photos of my obvious paunch -- and second, to look with new eyes at the photo from two years ago. The hair looks better, though, doesn't it? Perhaps it is time to go short again... and somewhere between the light and dark in these photos.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

missing Tibet

 Today is laundry day. I am missing being able to take my dirty clothes down the lane to the sweet (and very hard-working) Tibetan girls, who would wash, dry and iron my clothes for Y3 a piece -- that's about $.38.

I know. I'm terrible. Does it help that I usually paid them half again what they ask?

 There are, of course, other reasons to miss Tibet. Like the blue sky and the clear, fresh air, as we swelter (a little less the last day or so) here in the Mississippi summer.

 Last weekend we picked Rodger's photos only to find that all 20 rolls were printed from dirty negatives. It was Tuesday night before we could get back to the store to complain. The resolution was that the young woman would clean all the negatives and remake the prints and CDs. We were quite surprise to discover today that she had them finished! We suspect that she was so enthralled with the photos (she is a photojournalist student at the univeristy) that she just kept at it till the job was being done.

 Now comes the job of captioning and copying and uploading. I also have three disks full of photos from others on the trip to look at. I've seen some, but not all, of them online, but these on the CDs will be the full-sized images.

 I copied one CD into the screensaver folder on my computer at work, and it runs through them when I'm away. More than one of my coworkers has been way-laid at my desk looking at the pictures... like this one:

Potala Palace
click on the photo to see it full-sized

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

books and more books

 First day back at work, back to processing new books. Already found three titles to add to my must-read list:

Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: death stories of Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist and Zen masters Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism

 Not necessarily in this order.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

longest day of my life

    June 1st, 2007, is now officially the longest day of my life: from 12:00AM in China to 11:59PM in US CDT was 37 hours. We were either on a bus, on a plane, or in an airport for 24 of those hours, plus two more hours in the car to drive home. We got to the house about 2AM on Saturday morning. Since then, we have been fading in and out of sleep. Haven't left the house to go eat or take the 35mm film to be developed -- both were at the top of our "first thing" list! I haven't even managed to get the cell phone plugged in to recharge, and the suitcases are in the middle of the living room floor. I did check in with my summer online course, wade through some of my email, and get my digital photos uploaded.

    Below are links to the photos from my digital camera. Once you are at the page of thumbnails, click on the first one, then you can see larger photo, a caption if I added one, and can just click "next" to go through the album.

Tibet 2007 - Album 1
Tibet 2007 - Album 2
Tibet 2007 - Album 3
Tibet 2007 - Album 4
Tibet 2007 - Album 5
Tibet 2007 - Album 6
Tibet 2007 - Album 7
Tibet 2007 - Album 8
Tibet 2007 - Album 9
    Now it is time to go back to bed so I can function at work tomorrow. We are both missing Tibet, but also glad to be back in the U.S.A. Of course, in many ways, it seems as surreal to be back here as it did to be there.

 

Saturday, May 12, 2007

t-minus...

just a few minutes until I go to sleep!
   
The suitcases are closed, and whatever's not in them is not going.
   
With some good luck, I'll be able to upload some photos and post now and then.
    It has been a long day of washing and sorting clothes... and having lunch with Dad and his wife. Sort of happened suddenly, but it turned out okay.
Now it is time to sleep a few hours...

Friday, May 11, 2007

new roof

Yes, we finally have a new roof -- only four months shy of the second anniversary of Katrina. And I finally transferred to my computer the two photos I took with my iPaq the day after the workers started. Hubby has photos of the finished product on his 35mm, which I will post after they are developed. I think they worked four days on it -- hip roofs take are a little fiddly.

It is a metal roof, the color is "clay" -- kind of a green-gray-tannish color. I did find a paint which should match exactly... or as exactly as paint chips ever match. The actual color of the roofing is not as dark as the sample chip from which we made our selection, but, thankfully, not as light as the "stone" color. The family across the street also went to a metal roof post-Katrina, but their's is WAY to light in my opinion for their brick color. The color of ours seems to tone down the darkness of the browns in our brick and highlight the mortar, giving an overall lighter appearance.

Anyway, here are a couple shots (both are linked to larger images):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


The first time we had a really good, hard rain, Son#2 expressed his disappointment that it didn't "sound" like he thought a metal roof would sound. I agreed, though I wasn't disappointed: just the idea that it would be noisey was one of the reasons I didn't really want one. He knows what a metal roof is supposed to sound like from sleep-overs at his grandparents years ago. My M/FIL had a (real) log cabin with a tin roof... and an outhouse. I'll try to find a photo to post. The house, not the outhouse, y'all!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

maynyrd abandoned: twice in one day!

 Around the university, we have many feral cats. There is even a group of people who have organized to feed them, as well as to get them spayed/neutered. Still, kittens are born on campus.

 Yesterday when I descended the exterior stairs on my way to lunch, a co-worker stopped me to point out a very newborn kitten behind one of the support pillars. No other cats were around, neither were there any signs of the rest of the litter. And, of course, neither of us could bring ourselves to just leave it there.

 I picked up the little critter, went to the car where my son was waiting, and he drove to Wal-Mart so I could get a feeding bottle and some kitten formula -- instead of the bank where I was supposed to get travelers checks for the trip.

 The doll-sized nipple on the feeding bottle was HUGE for this little kitty; I should have gotten an eye dropper. It was too weak to suck, but finally I managed to get some of the liquid in it. I was ecstatic when it managed to lick some of the fluid off my fingers/hand! But just the effort of fighting against the attempts to get the bottle in its mouth, etc., were exhausting for the poor little thing.

 Son#1 drove me back to work -- sans lunch or checks -- I took it inside, grabbed a box and the blanket I keep in my desk and settled the kitten down under my desk. Then I went searching for two things: a way to contact the on-campus feral cat group, and information about how to care for a kitten orphaned this young.

 A quick skim over this document confirmed I would not have the time to care properly for it, even with Son#1 agreeing to keep it in his room while we were traveling. To shorten the tale, after I got off work, we drove to the humane society and left the kitten with them.

 This was very difficult for a cat-lover like me to do. However, the attendant told me they had a good number of momma cats and good success at getting them to nurse orphans. Also, kittens appear to get adopted well, even though the statistics posted on a board in the office as to the number of animals they put down last year was upsetting.

 So, we left the kitten, sadly, but it probably has a better chance to survive with them than with us, as does my marriage. I am used to my own cats, but I did seem to itch, sneeze, and have watery eyes all afternoon from this one. Of course, my own cats had little to do with me last night.

 Here's the picture I took just before taking it inside at the shelter:


 For scale, the feeding bottle from bottom to tip of nipple is four inches; and the kitten is not as long as the picture makes it look -- its tail is curled up making it look bigger. You can click on the photo for a larger version, but it is still hard to tell that the area around the right hind leg is really the tail.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

lunchtime

You Are a Turkey Sandwich
Conservative and a bit shy, you tend to stick with what you know and trust. You are very introverted, and you prefer to blend in whenever possible. Though you may be hard to know well, anyone who does know you considers you a true friend. Your best friend: The Ham Sandwich Your mortal enemy: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

actual knitting content!

I started this post on Tuesday at work during morning break, but never got back to it, so "last night" refers to Monday night, not Tuesday.

"Oh, my gosh!"
    I actually took time to   K N I T   last night!
    No photos of my knitting, but this is what I am making and I am using Lion Brand Incredible, a ribbon yarn, in "Autumn Leaves and their Microspun in black.
    I made one last summer and this is some knitting to take along to China and Tibet. I'll probably grab the green socks and try to fix/reknit them, and maybe leftover sock yarn to make more of these.
    I know I should have been in the bedroom, sorting clothes, but it was   S O   nice to just sit, knit, and watch TV -- especially without feeling like I should have been studying!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

while i'm gone

    I created an email account to access while I am gone that is separate from all my home accounts:
mkhagroma@gmail.com


    Like last year for the Mexico trip, I created a blog as well (first entry is posted), though I will probably be just as likely to post on it.

mkhagroma.blogspot.com


    But, just in case I'm able to get online, it will be there to keep loved ones up-to-date.   The thing is, you can't worry if I don't post to it.   That doesn't mean anything other than I am either too busy, too tired, or do not have easy access to the internet.
    If you do stop by, please leave a comment. It's always good to hear from 'home' when I am far away.
    Wonder what's going to happen to my count-down widget up there when it gets to zero?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

author, author, author (period)

    Oh, my, it seems like more than ten days since I posted. school assignments are all done save one, but work is busy-busy-busy! I don't seem to be getting the hang of verifying the cataloging, and it is really frustrating me. some of it is new errors with each batch, but about half the time I've made a mistake or overlooked something. If I wasn't trying so hard to double-check everything it would be different, but sometimes I can hardly believe I've made the same mistake again! Or, I think I understand how to interpret, for example, pub/copyright dates, reprint/editions... and, then, once again, I am wrong. I don't expect to do it perfectly, but gee whiz, I don't feel like I'm doing much better after being on this project for a month!
    I have learned some lessons, but they are really only applicable to authors:
  1. remember the rule of three;
  2. don't co-author with more than two other people;
  3. if you do co-author with more than two other people, make sure YOUR name is the first one listed on the title page.

    Rule of three in cataloging refers to the fact that if more than three authors are listed on the title page, only the first one is noted in the record, followed by ... [et al.]. And those et al. don't even get an "Added author" line on the record, so, no one will ever find the book you helped write in the online catalog searches. At least when you have an article published in a journal, they have to list everyone's name in the databases! I'm told that next change in the cataloging guidelines will change this.... so, perhaps:

        4.  keep publishing journal articles with your three research pals, and hold off on writing that book.

I just know this will be earth-shattering and life-saving information for all y'all.

(I'm working in Blogger's "Compose" mode to see if the spacing will carry through to the actual post and not end up looking like the 50 questons post -- which I was too lazy to edit with HTML line breaks and other niceities. Here goes...)  Edited to say: nope. didn't work. not enough paragraph break. Blech.

    OH! I almost forgot my good news: had my three-month bloodwork check done last Monday, and got the results on Thursday. My hemoglobin A1C is still at 5.9% and liver enzymes are normal. Woo-hoo!